BOX SCORE

Waynflete 8 Greely 3

W- 1 4 1 2- 8
G- 0 0 3 0- 3

First quarter
9:37 W Hopkins (unassisted)

Second quarter
9:29 W Millspaugh (unassisted)
6:13 W Lane (Kirby)
4:12 W Whipple (unassisted)
24.6 W Lane (unassisted)

Third quarter
9:55 G Kenney (Downing)
7:14 G Kenney (Kennedy) (MAN-UP)
3:48 G Leggat-Barr (unassisted)
33.5 W Cloutier (Hopkins)

Fourth quarter
3:25 W Burton-Johanson (unassisted)
2:09 W Whipple (unassisted)

Goals:
W- Lane, Whipple 2, Burton-Johanson, Cloutier, Hopkins, Millspaugh 1
G- Kenney 2, Leggat-Barr 1

Assists:
W- Hopkins, Kirby 1
G- Downing, Kennedy 1

Faceoffs (Waynflete, 8-6)
W- Holdridge 8 of 14
G- Boese 6 of 10, Turner 0 of 4

Ground balls:
W- 31
G- 30

Turnovers:
W- 24
G- 27

Shots:
W- 26
G- 21

Shots on cage
W- 20
G- 12

Saves:
W (Vest) 9
G (Osgood) 12

CUMBERLAND—Coming off its first setback of the season, Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team could have gone into a slump when it traveled to take on Greely Thursday afternoon at Glen Hutchins Field.

But these Flyers don’t like losing, regardless of the season, and they got back on track in impressive fashion, thanks to a tremendous defensive effort, combined with a balanced offensive attack.

Sophomore Roan Hopkins scored the only goal of the first period to put Waynflete on top to stay and in the second quarter, seniors Harry Millspaugh, Ned Lane, Sam Whipple and Lane again scored for a 5- 0 halftime advantage.

The Rangers finally found their offense in the third quarter, as senior D.J. Kenney scored pair of goals and classmate Elias Leggat-Barr added another to cut into the deficit.

But in a momentum-turning play with just 33.5 seconds remaining, sophomore Seth Cloutier scored to put the Flyers on top, 6-3.

Waynflete’s defense and senior goalie Alex Vest never let Greely score again and late goals from freshman Nils Burton-Johanson and Whipple allowed the Flyers to earn an 8-3 victory.

Waynflete got goals from six different players, held the Rangers scoreless for stretches of 25- and 15-minutes as it improved to 9-1 and in the process, dropped Greely to 4-6.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said Flyers first-year coach Andrew Leach. “This could have gone either way this late in the season, but the guys had a great practice yesterday and came out from the first whistle ready to go today.”

Returning to form

Greely has been up-and-down all season.

The Rangers started with losses at home to Yarmouth (8-5) and at Cape Elizabeth (17-2). Greely then won at Freeport (14-4), earned a huge boost of confidence with a 7-5 victory at Yarmouth, outlasted visiting North Yarmouth Academy in a double-overtime classic, 8-7, then beat host Gray-New Gloucester (10-2) before losing to visiting Cape Elizabeth (14-4), host Gorham (12-8) and visiting South Portland (9-6).

Waynflete, meanwhile, started with a 14-2 win at Lake Region, then downed visiting Wells (11-6) and blanked host Gray-New Gloucester and visiting Freeport by 14-0 scores, before earning a 6-5 victory at Yarmouth, defeating host St. Dom’s, 7-1, visiting York, 7-5, and finally visiting NYA in an 8-7 thriller. Tuesday, the Flyers finally fell from the unbeaten ranks, losing, 11-2, at home to Class A South contender Berwick Academy.

“It was a humbling experience against Berwick,” Leach said. “That’s a great team.”

The Flyers and Rangers last met April 23, 2019, a 12-2 home win for Greely.

Thursday, on a 73-degree afternoon, the Rangers looked to prevail again, but Waynflete instead earned its first win over Greely since May 24, 2013 (12-3 at home) and its first in Cumberland since an 8-5 victory June 3, 2003.

Greely turned the ball over nine times and twice failed to score man-up in the first quarter, but the Flyers only managed one goal themselves, as Hopkins scored unassisted with 9:37 to go.

Rangers junior goalie Spencer Osgood prevented Waynflete from going up even more, denying Whipple and Lane twice each.

Vest also made his presence felt, saving shots from sophomore Thomas Bennert, senior Zach Dubbert and Kenney.

Waynflete senior Sam Whipple tries to get past a Greely defender during first half action. Hoffer photos.

After killing a man-down situation to start the second quarter, the Flyers snapped a 12-minute, 8-second scoring drought, as Millspaugh, who is always the focal point of opposing defenses, made a pair of nice moves to elude defenders, then finished for the only time on the day for a 2-0 lead with 9:29 left before halftime.

After Greely again failed to score man-up, as Vest made a save on a shot from junior Shaun Downing, freshman Nico Kirby intercepted a pass for Waynflete, then set up Lane for a three-goal advantage.

Rangers coach Mike Storey called timeout, but it didn’t stem the tide, as after Osgood denied Millspaugh, Whipple scored unassisted with 4:12 on the clock for a 4-0 lead.

The Flyers then three times killed man-down situations, including a 6-on-4, before Burton-Johanson was denied by Osgood with 24.6 seconds left, but Lane was there to swat home the rebound for a commanding 5-0 advantage at the half.

“The defense was working hard and I was motivated to give them a break,” Lane said.

Greely committed 18 first half turnovers, allowing Waynflete to enjoy a 19-6 shots advantage, but eight saves from Osgood kept the Rangers within hailing distance and Greely would come out strong in the second half.

With 9:55 left in the third period, the Rangers finally broke through, as in transition, Downing set up Kenney for a goal to snap a 26-minute, 5-second drought.

Greely then converted a man-up chance, as Kenney scored again, from sophomore Matt Kennedy, and with 7:14 to go, the deficit was three.

After Osgood denied Lane, the Rangers then pulled within 5-3, as Leggat-Barr bounced a long shot past Vest with 3:48 remaining in the period.

“That was a spurt, not a sustained push,” Storey said. “You have to put four quarters together.”

But that would be as close as Greely would get, as it would be blanked the final 15:48.

After Millspaugh hit the post for Waynflete, the Rangers tried to make it a one-goal game, but junior Patrick Johnson had a shot saved by Vest and then sophomore Lukas Cook missed wide.

Then, with just 33.5 seconds left, the Flyers turned the tide, as in transition, Hopkins found Cloutier, who scored for a 6-3 advantage.

“In the third quarter, we faced a little adversity, but that goal gave us momentum going into the fourth for sure,” said Lane.

Greely tried to answer to start the fourth, but Vest saved bids from seniors Ethan McCormick and Chase Cornwall and Johnson and Leggat-Barr missed just wide.

Then, with 3:25 to play, Burton-Johanson produced some insurance with an unassisted goal.

With 2:09 left, Whipple scored unassisted and that ended all doubt and Waynflete closed out its 8-3 victory.

After the final horn, Waynflete celebrates its win.

“That loss didn’t feel great, so we were definitely hungry coming back for this game,” Lane said. “We channeled our energy into this one. That got us up in the first half and got us through the entire game.”

“I’m really proud of the guys,” senior defenseman Ben Adey said. “We had a good practice after a tough loss, but we were confident that we could bounce back today.”

“Anytime you can come here and beat a team like Greely on their field is huge,” Leach added. “They’re a blue blood. We have a chip on our shoulder coming in as a Class C team. It’s been a long time since we’ve won here.”

The Flyers’ offense featured two goals apiece from Lane and Whipple and one each from Burton-Johanson, Cloutier, Hopkins and Millspaugh.

“We got it together and shared the ball well,” Lane said. “We got assists on goals, which is what we’re shooting for.”

“Every time Harry catches the ball, everyone on defense is looking at him and shading into his area, so we have other guys open and they take care of business, coming up big in big spots,” Leach said.

Hopkins and Kirby each had one assist.

Vest made nine key saves.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Alex,” said Adey. “We want to make the other team shoot from outside. He’s got everything from outside of three feet, I’d say.”

“Alex is just playing at another level,” Leach said. “He sees the ball better than anyone else I’ve seen in the state.”

Senior Ilo Holdridge won 8 of 14 faceoffs, Waynflete had a 31-30 edge in ground balls (Kirby had a team-high four), a 26-21 shots advantage (20-12 on cage) and overcame 24 turnovers.

Ultimately, the Flyers’ defense was the difference.

“We had good, hard slides and communication is always key,” Adey said. “I love playing with (senior) Mike (Veroneau) and (sophomore) Liam (Anderson), they’re great defenders, and we have a great (long-stick middie) in Jasper (Curtis).”

“It makes a huge difference when we have everybody here and rolling,” Leach said. “Ben Adey has been busy winning at tennis (making the final four of the state singles tournament), so having him here is huge.”

Greely got two goals from Kenney and one from Leggat-Barr. Downing and Kennedy each had one assist.

Osgood made a dozen saves.

Sophomore Parker Sasseville had a team-high four ground balls.

The Rangers committed 27 turnovers.

“We talk about focusing on one thing at a time and worrying about the little things and we’ve been unable to put the pieces together,” Storey said. “It’s very frustrating. It’s a disappointing direction to be heading in.”

A playoff reward

Greely (ninth in the Class B state Heal Points standings) has two road games remaining, at York Saturday and at Freeport Wednesday of next week.

Despite their rough stretch, the Rangers believe they can make a run to the program’s first Class B crown next month.

“Where we’re seeded for the tournament doesn’t matter, but we have to get back on track or we won’t go very far,” Storey said. “We’re in a mental and physical slump right now. We’re trying to figure out how to solve that puzzle.

“I believe the opportunity is still there to fix it and figure it out. It’ll take all of us.”

Waynflete (ranked first in Class C) has two more tests, at home versus Class A North contender Portland Wednesday of next week and at home against Camden Hills the following day.

The Flyers will then embark on their quest for the state title.

“I think we’re trending in the right direction,” Lane said. “I’m happy where we are. We have energy in practice and it translates into our games as well. We have to possess the ball more in the offensive end and give our defense a break. We have to just play the next play and do our best to stay out of the penalty box.”

“You can tell when a team can do something special and I have that feeling here,” Adey said. “We want to go all the way. That’s our goal. We want to keep the train rolling. We’re feeling good. We want to lock up the number one seed. We want homefield advantage more than anything and we want to get to Fitzpatrick Stadium for the big game. I try not to think about it, but I’d love to win both (lacrosse and tennis).”

“It’s a special group and we’re doing special things,” Leach added. “We’re right there hunting for the first spot. If we finish strong, I think we can stay in Portland for the entire playoffs.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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